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Analyzing farmer networks is focus of new training manual

Posted: May 19, 2017

A new publication in the Northeast Center's Rural Development Working Paper series provides guidance to Extension educators on analyzing existing farmer networks. Economic and social networks organized around local and regional food systems or value chains have the potential to increase traditionally underserved farmers’ access to the resources, skills and scale of logistical or distribution assets that are prerequisites for profitable expansion into urban markets.
Conducting an analysis of the network within which each individual is embedded considers farmers’ multidimensional relationships with other farmers. Credit: USDA

Conducting an analysis of the network within which each individual is embedded considers farmers’ multidimensional relationships with other farmers. Credit: USDA

The Northeast Center provided key support to partners at Delaware State University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and Tennessee State University for a competitive, USDA-funded capacity-building project to provide traditionally underserved farmers in Tennessee, Maryland, and Delaware an opportunity to expand their networks. The team utilized network analysis to document the farmers’ networks, and developed a curriculum on network analysis for Extension educators, available here (3.1MB PDF).